By: Staci Stallings
I’m reading a book. I know. That may surprise some of you. But this book is a bit different.
You see, I don’t normally read fiction. I find, for me, I get taken off track too much by, “That’s not how I would write it,” or “they should have done it this way,” or “It would have worked better this way.”
It’s one of the downsides to being an editor. That editor thing is just hard to turn off when I read fiction.
But this book is different. First, it’s by a new friend of mine, so I thought I’d check it out.
Overall, it’s a good story. It keeps me reading though I can’t say just why. I just keep thinking about the characters and where it’s going and how it might get there.
Well, today, I read a part that really knocked me between the eyes. It first talks about the pit you are in, saying that it really doesn’t matter how deep that pit is because God can reach you wherever you are. (That in and of itself is good news!)
But then it goes further. The line I love says, “God doesn’t look at you for who you are now, but He sees what you will be when He completes your life.”
I so see this in my life and with my characters. Yes, they are messed up. They live messy lives that aren’t perfect. Many of them go flying off the track. Most of them are lost, hurt, and searching–even if they don’t know it. They are looking for something, and many if not most can’t even name what that something is.
However, in every, single case, God is searching for them. When they find Him and He finds them, they often recoil at what they know He sees. They think that God sees us the way the world sees us. They think that there is no possible way God can love them the way they are. How could He? Their lives are a mess.
This, I think, is where Love steps in and changes everything. Love doesn’t demand that we change. It shows us how much better it is to live in the change. It invites us, takes our hand, guides us, and yes, if necessary, picks us back up again. Love is patient with us. It doesn’t put us down or point out our imperfections. Instead, Love always calls us to our better self, the self God knows we can be if we can learn to trust in Him, follow Him, and let Him love us.
The book “I Called Him Dancer” by Eddie Snipes says that God loves you right now because He sees who you will be when He is finished loving you into that reality. It’s a great way to think about God’s love because it is a hand held out, a hand up, encouragement from the One Who knew you before you were born. How cool is that!